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August Complex Update (South Zone)

Start Date: August 17, 2020      
Cause: Lightning
Size: 1,030,182 acres (All Zones) 
Containment: 78% (All Zones) 
Personnel: 3,130 (All Zones)

WILLOWS, Calif. – October 16, 2020 – 
On Thursday a helicopter dropped water to cool a hotspot in the Middle Fork of the Eel River as crews worked to contain the fire in this area. Firefighters also strengthened firelines by chipping and using a masticator to grind vegetation while continuing work on a handline to tie in to the existing fireline in this section of the South Zone. Crews are challenged by steep, rugged terrain and hot, dry, windy conditions.

In the South Zone of the August Complex, firefighters are utilizing remote sensing data to monitor the east side of the South Zone for any remaining heat. Firefighters are also chipping firelines on the south side of the fire as part of suppression repair efforts. For information on the three phases of wildfire recovery visit

 The Red Flag Warning for the August Complex has been extended through Friday. Hot and dry conditions continue, with low relative humidity and gusty east to east-northeast winds.

Evacuations were lifted Thursday in the Pillsbury Lake area of the August Complex.In Mendocino County, several zones remain in evacuation order and evacuation warning status. For the latest evacuation information status in the South Zone, visit for Mendocino County, for  Lake County, and for Glenn County.

Order No. 08-20-14 is in effect for the Mendocino National Forest. Private properties accessed via a Forest System road may require a permit from the USDA Forest Service. Please contact the Mendocino National Forest at 530-934-3316 for more information. Hunting and recreation are prohibited within the August Complex South Zone Fire Area Closure area. Safety hazards in the area include unstable trees that may fall, loose rocks and boulders, burning stumps; and deep ash pits. 

Order No. 20-22 for the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region, including the Mendocino National Forest, has been extended to Oct 22. Smoking and building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire are currently prohibited. Portable lanterns or stoves using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel within a Developed Recreation Site are allowed. More info is available at One less spark means one less wildfire.

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